I plant pansies and violas every spring -- in the back window box, in the boxes beside the back door and in the front planters.
Because I adore pansies!!!
But unfortunately pansies and violas don't "adore" Kansas summers
And so around Memorial Day, they tend to get leggy and their blooms are smaller.
They need to be replaced with summer annuals -- begonias!
But before I dig them up and throw them away, I harvest their blossoms
And I did that last Saturday
A basket of pansies, a bowl of sugar and a small bowl filled with whipped egg white and a small paint brush -- all ready for candying!
I paint the egg white on the pansy or viola
Turn them over and paint the back side
Then I bury it in the bowl of sugar
Six seems the perfect number
For you want the pansies to be completely sugar coated!
And onto a parchment paper covered cookie sheet to dry
It takes overnight before they are completely dry and the sugar is hardened
Then I turn them right side up
I love the "hazy" look of the sugar coated pansies and violas
I store them in a Sees Candy tin that an internet friend sent me 12 years or so ago
and in an old tin that I've hand "forever" -- a candy container for "Mrs. Steven's Candies" -- and I'm not sure where I got the tin but I'm sure it was a flea market find early in my marriage because I liked the flowers on the top.
A single layer of pansies/violas and then topped with a piece of parchment
Then another layer of pansies
And they keep -- until I use them all
They're great to decorate cakes and cookies in the winter --
it makes winter less dreary when your dessert is topped by a spring pansy!
Sugar coated star cookies with pansies
And plain old Texas sheet cake is made company special with a candied pansy/viola!
It's a rite of Spring and I've been doing it "forever"!
I also will candy mint leaves for tea but do that as needed
And I've been known to candy lavender as well --
it looks pretty on a tea tray.